PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Thursday ordered much tighter enforcement of the general community quarantine (GCQ) imposed by President Duterte in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble, as he instructed his men to arrest those who will be found smuggling unauthorized persons outside of residence in Metro Manila and its borders.
The top cop said they will maintain their Quarantine Control Points (QCP) in the NCR and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan, with non-essential travel in and out of the bubble still prohibited.
Eleazar said that in particular, he has ordered officers manning these QCPs to arrest and charged those who would be caught smuggling people in and out of the NCR Plus using cargo vehicles and vans. The vehicles involved will be impounded as charges will be filed against their drivers and operators.
The PNP chief issued the directive as several people were arrested in March and April this year for defying the rules on essential travels through cargo vehicles and passenger vans.
NCR Plus, made up of Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal and Cavite, has been placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions from May 15-31.
Eleazar tasked personnel manning the QCPs to ensure that only persons on essential travel or authorized persons outside of residence or APOR are allowed in or out of the NCR Plus bubble.
“The PNP will strictly implement the guidelines issued by the national government regarding the latest quarantine status. Ang NCR Plus nga po ay nasa GCQ with heightened restrictions, meaning hindi pa rin po papayagan ang non-essential o unnecessary travel papasok at palabas ng NCR Plus,” he explained.
“Sa ating kapulisan, siguraduhin ninyo na wala kayong palalampasing mga sasakyan ng gusto lang magliwaliw sa panahon ng pandemya,” he added.
Eleazar likewise appealed to business establishments allowed to operate under the GCQ with heightened restrictions to strictly observe the assigned capacity rates for their businesses.
“There are also some adjustments on the capacity we need to observe such as for indoor and outdoor o tinatawag nating al fresco dining, outdoor tourist attractions, religious gatherings, funerals, wakes,” he said.
“We appeal to establishments to strictly follow these protocols to avoid mass gatherings in your businesses. At kailangang maimplement po ng mabuti ang physical distancing,” the PNP chief added.
Eleazar warned that the establishments could be ordered closed if they do not follow the guidelines set by the national government particularly by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Aside from NCR Plus, the following areas will be under GCQ from May 15 to 31: Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Puerto Princesa, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.
The City of Santiago, Quirino, Ifugao and Zamboanga City will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine for the same period while the rest of the country is under modified GCQ.